Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Tuesday that the Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to trade forward Jerami Grant to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In return, Philly will receive forward Ersan Ilyasova as well as a future conditional draft pick. ESPN’s Zach Lowe says the pick is a protected first-rounder.
Woj says the Thunder have been in pursuit of Grant “for several months” before striking the deal Tuesday afternoon. The third-year forward has a non-guaranteed salary both this season and next, meaning this deal saves the Thunder a good chunk of cash in cap space. They’re currently about $7 million under the cap after the trade.
For OKC, this trade is an apparent attempt to try and fill the massive hole at small forward left by Kevin Durant. Grant is tall but sleight of frame at 6’8″ and just 210 pounds. He’s a bit of a tweener, but he has shown the ability to be a solid, rangy defender that can do some damage on the glass. He’s athletic enough to step out and guard wings but he can also serve as a small-ball power forward. Grant remains a work-in-progress offensively, however, as he’s a carer 39 percent shooter from the field and has connected on only 27 percent of his three-point tries.
ESPN’s Marc Stein says the Sixers made this deal in part because they wanted to surround the likes of Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid with a viable stretch-four. Ilyasova has canned about 37 percent of his three-pointers in his eight-plus NBA seasons. He should see some decent minutes right away, especially with power forward Nerlens Noel sidelined.
This is still the 76ers, though, so it makes sense that there are draft ramifications, too. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Enquirer tweeted that the Sixers “hope” to get OKC’s 2020 first-rounder in the deal. The Thunder already owe a lottery-protected 2018 first-rounder to the Utah Jazz as a part of the 2015 trade that sent Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City. Bobby Marks of The Vertical reported that the pick heading to Philly is top-20 protected. If the pick is not conveyed as a first-rounder it will automatically become a pair of second-rounders.